Tesla’s next major project involves creating self-driving “robo taxis” that promise to be cheaper than public transportation.
“I think it’ll be a very powerful product where we aspire to reach volume production of that in 2024,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in an earnings call(Opens in a new window) on Wednesday.
The vehicle will also be very different from a standard Tesla electric car. According to Musk, the robo taxis will be manufactured without steering wheels or pedals. “And there are a number of other innovations around it that I think are quite exciting,” he added.
The taxi’s main goal is to “achieve the lowest fully considered cost per mile or cost per kilometer, accounting everything,” Musk said. “Looking at some of our projections, it would appear that a robo taxi ride will cost less than a bus ticket, a subsidized bus ticket or subsidized subway ticket.”
However, the key to making the robo taxis work is mastering self-driving technology. Musk has spent years promising(Opens in a new window) a full self-driving system for existing Teslas. But the current iteration can only drive itself in certain conditions; full autonomy has yet to be reached.
During Wednesday’s earnings call, Musk himself acknowledged Tesla has often missed the mark on predicting when a true full self-driving system would arrive. “Of any technology development I’ve ever been involved in, I’ve never really seen more kind of false dawns or where it seems like we’re going to break through, but we don’t,” he said.
Still, Tesla’s CEO remains confident the company will finally develop a true full self-driving car system sometime this year. In the meantime, the company is planning on holding an official event to introduce the robo taxis in 2023.
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Source By https://www.pcmag.com/news/tesla-aims-to-produce-robo-taxis-in-2024